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22 Percent of U.S. Rabbis Are Engaged in Non-congregational Jobs

A new survey of the American rabbinate, conducted by the Jewish Statistical Bureau, was made public here today by Dr. H.S. Linfield, executive secretary of the institution which functions under the auspices of the Reform Conservative and Orthodox Jewish groups in this country. The work of the Bureau is financed by voluntary contributions.

The survey established that a total of 4,257 rabbis were in the United States at the beginning of last year. Nearly 2,500 of them officiated in the Jewish congregations as their preachers, teachers and leaders. However, 945 rabbis, or 22 percent were engaged full-time in specialized Jewish community work, in the fields of Jewish education and Jewish welfare work. “This is a new development,” Dr. Linfield states, “since in former years the number of rabbis engaged full-time in non-congregational service was small.”

Nearly 80 percent of the American-trained rabbis have secular education of four years of college or more, the survey reveals. It shows that there was a large increase in the number of rabbis in the United States during the past quarter of a century. In the Jewish communal survey for 1927, made by the same author and published by the American Jewish committee in 1930, only a total of 1,751 rabbis were recorded. The 1927 figure. Dr. Linfield notes, did not include the number of rabbis who were engaged in full time in non-congregational services. That number, however, was small.

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